Category of Pith Instructions

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Category of Pith Instructions (Tib. མན་ངག་སྡེ་, mengakdé, Wyl. man ngag sde) — one of the three classes into which Manjushrimitra divided the Dzogchen teachings. Shri Singha arranged the teachings of the Pith Instruction class into four cycles:

  1. the outer cycle (Tib. ཕྱི་སྐོར་, chi kor; Wyl. phyi skor), which is like the physical body, intended for those of lesser capacity;
  2. the inner cycle (Tib. ནང་སྐོར་, nang kor; Wyl. nang skor), which is like the eyes, intended for those of medium capacity;
  3. the secret cycle (Tib. གསང་སྐོར་, sang kor; Wyl. gsang skor), which is like the heart, for those of the highest capacity; and
  4. the innermost secret unsurpassed cycle (Tib. ཡང་གསང་བླ་ན་མེད་པའི་སྐོར་, yang sang lana mepé kor; Wyl. yang gsang bla na med pa'i skor), which is like the whole person, intended for those of exceptionally high capacity—this is the Nyingtik cycle of teachings.

Khenpo Namdrol explains:

"These four great cycles present the Trekchö teachings in a similar way, but where they differ is in the clarity, explicitness and detail of how the Tögal teachings are given.
Shri Singha gave the outer, inner and secret cycles of the category of pith instructions to both Vimalamitra and Jñanasutra. He transmitted the innermost secret cycle to Jñanasutra, who then passed it on to Vimalamitra."

The root tantra of the category of pith instructions is the 'Reverberation of Sound' Tantra (Tib. སྒྲ་ཐལ་འགྱུར་, dra tal gyur).

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